The Difference between Sound Absorption and Sound Blocking
Sound is like water. It doesn’t have a shape or form, but molds itself to its surroundings. And like water, sound can be absorbed by some materials and contained by others.
Soundproofing products trap the sound. They contain the sound within a space, making it impossible for the sound to move to other parts of the building. They also stop unwanted sound from entering the room.
Sound absorption products soak up sound. They absorb sound waves and prevent them from bouncing off the walls. They improve the quality of the sound within a room.
To be able to compare the performance of different soundproofing products, we rate them by how much sound they can block. This rating is called STC, which stands for Sound Transmission Class.
Generally, the higher the STC rating, the better the material is at blocking sound.
To be able to compare the performance of different sound absorption products, we rate them by how much sound they can soak up. This rating is called NRC, which stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient.
Generally, the higher the NRC rating, the better the product is at absorbing sounds.
2 Types of Soundproofing Products
There are 3 types of soundproofing products: sound blockers, sound absorbers and composites. The origin of your sound issue will determine the best product type for you.
If the sound you need to control is not originating from the same space as you, sound blockers are the best solution. Sound blockers stop, reflect, or reroute noise to prevent its transmission through a surface. They are hard, heavy, and flexible.
Use sound blockers to stop sound from traveling from one space to another. Sound blockers can be installed in walls, doors, floors, and ceilings.
If the noise you need to control is originating in the same space as you, sound absorbers are the best solution. Sound absorbers soak up, trap, and dissipate noise energy. They are light, porous, and soft to the touch.
Absorption products control noise within an enclosed area, improving the sound quality. Because they usually are a finishing product, they are available in many different styles and colors to match any decor.